Wild open spaces and adventures off the beaten track are closer than you think – get inspired to go exploring in Britain this winter with my ideas for cold weather fun over at The Independent‘s travel section, from ice climbing in Scotland to wild swims and campfires in London.
More of my explorations in the Kenyan highlands, including the most beautiful pool I’ve ever swam in, a climb up Hyena Rock, a flower-filled haven of a farmstay and a REALLY big dog named Colonel Lawrence.
Long summer evenings were made for little adventures. It’s time to stop seeing the working week as something to get through, (‘Hump Day’: ICK) and learn to savour hours of balmy sunshine. Tick off some of my favourite outdoor escapes and I promise you you’ll see week days in a whole new light.
Hooked on Poldark? Me too. And last week I spent a swashbuckling few days hunting out the gorgeous filming locations from the show on the Cornish coast with photographer Jacob Little. We galloped on the moors, explored windswept cliffs and swam in secret coves, Aidan Turner style.
Take a dip somewhere a little bit magic – the Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye. Crystal clear icy water flows from the foot of the Cuillin mountains, forming lagoons and waterfalls that’ll both enchant you and give you serious brain freeze.
Surfer Elsie Pinniger runs neon wetsuits from a little workshop in Newquay, designing and creating beautiful, seriously covetable bespoke neoprene suits in a rainbow of colours. She tells me about her love of the beach, seeing her wetsuits in Vogue and the joy of getting to surf daily in the name of work.
Feeling a deep desire to go splashing about in rivers and cliffjumping into lagoons? The UK is peppered with stunning locations in which to dip your toes, from epic waterfalls in Wales to a magician’s cove in Cornwall. These are a few of my favourites.
White water rafting does not involve the most attractive outfit in the world. Over your normal clothes go thick rubber dungarees, a coat of the same shiny blue material, wellington boots a few sizes too big, a lifejacket so well padded you can perform sumo wrestler moves on friends worry free, and, finally, a helmet strapped under your chin that immediately makes your scalp sweat. As soon as you are dressed like this, all you can think about is how much to now need to pee.
Two weeks in Nova Scotia are not enough. The Maritimes are a gorgeous patchwork of apple trees, wooden slat houses in pastel yellows and blues and cold, empty lakes fringed with dark pine trees. Oh, and gooooood pie. Actually, two weeks are definitely enough, or I would get disgustingly fat on buttered lobster.
Absolutely beautiful show on BBC Iplayer at the moment: Alice Roberts swims in empty lochs, freezing rivers and underground lagoons, interspaced with water-based poetry in this beautiful one-off show. As a huge fan of river swimming I am mega jealous.